Stuffed Round Zucchini

When I bought these zucchinis in the market, I knew I had to cook them stuffed, with what, I still didn't know.  At home, I browsed  at the internet for a good recipe that can guide me on what to put inside.  I didn't have all the ingredients that the recipes ask for but I remedied that by understanding what goes well together in my refrigerator & cupboards.   

Stuffed Round Zucchini (Zucchine Tonde Ripiene)

4 servings
  • round zucchini (one per person)
  • 70 grams smoked pancetta
  • 200 grams ground meat (I used a combination of pork & veal)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, diced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt 
  • pepper

Preparing the zucchini:
Cut the top part of the zucchini.  Set aside.  With the use of a small knife, carve out the pulp of the remaining big part of zucchini.  With the help of a teaspoon or a melon baller (I found the melon baller easier to use), take away the pulp carefully.  Set aside this part too.  Put the pulp in a blender and crush them just enough to make attain a coarse texture.  Set aside too.

Preparing the filling:
Set a saucepan on medium flame with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.  Add the onion & tomatoes.  When onion starts to sizzle, add the pancetta.  Cook for a few minutes until they are starting to look toasted.  Add the meat.  When meat has changed color, add the pulp.  Season with salt & pepper.  Cook for about 15 minutes.

Filling up the zucchini:
Fill up the zucchini with the cooked filling.  Cover each with the top part that you previously sliced away.  Place them on an oiled baking pan.  Drizzle the zucchini with extra-virgin olive oil & sprinkle some salt.

In the oven:
Pre-heat oven at 200 degrees Celcius.  Cook the zucchini for about 45 minutes.  In the middle of cooking, pour some white wine if you have any, if you don't, it doesn't matter.  Sprinkle a lot of parmigiano reggiano inside the zucchini and close again with the top zucchini cover.